AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Lab Guidelines Focus Area 1: Constructing Knowledge
  Paper Type: Contributed
  Title: Quantifying Measurement Error and Interpreting Confidence Intervals
  Meeting: 2015 Summer Meeting: College Park, Maryland
  Location: N/A
  Time: 3:00PM
  Author: W. Blake Laing, Southern Adventist University
  Co-Author(s): Sean Bryant
  Abstract: A first lab experiment clearly illustrates that a home glucose meter is actually an excellent source of both random and systematic error, much to the surprise to students and physicians alike. A histogram is constructed and the utility of the standard deviation and standard error to quantify the uncertainty in each measurement and in the mean value, respectively, is demonstrated. From the first lab on, students are challenged to express and interpret confidence intervals in order to form quantitative conclusions. Assessments reveal that many science majors find this to be surprisingly challenging.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: 2015_AAPT_Interpretation_redacted.pdf

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